Post office box shift annoys user

Post office box user Harold Browett is unhappy about the move of boxes from King Edward St to Strathallan St. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Post office box user Harold Browett is unhappy about the move of boxes from King Edward St to Strathallan St. Photo by Peter McIntosh.

A Dunedin man who has leased a post office box in South Dunedin for the past three decades has objected to a New Zealand Post decision to move the boxes away from the main shopping centre.

New Zealand Post has sent letters to all 477 box holders, saying the post office box facility would move to the Dunedin mail centre in Strathallan St.

The boxes are in a one-storey building next to the South Dunedin PostShop in King Edward St, which will stay where it is.

The letter said the move was ''around 900m away'', but Corstorphine resident and box-holder Harold Browett said that involved negotiating a busy Andersons Bay Rd, and travelling from the shopping centre to an industrial area.

While that was one thing for people with cars, it was another for those without.

New Zealand Post responded it had an internal seismic policy that ''requires a high level of compliance for all the buildings we occupy'' for the safety of staff and customers.

''This building is leased and fell below our seismic standards.''

Mr Browett said he found the post office box more reliable than the postal service to his home, which he said arrived sometimes in the morning and other times in the afternoon.

He was surprised to ''suddenly'' get a letter to say the boxes would close on August 15 and move to Strathallan St.

While Mr Browett had a car, others in the area did not, and the move would be disruptive, he said.

He was also upset the telephone number on the letter took him to an employee outside Dunedin.

''I was brusquely told to ring someone in Christchurch.''

Mr Browett said he felt he had a contract with New Zealand Post until next March for the box in King Edward St, something he would write to the company about.

''I think they just want to use the old mail centre,'' he said.

New Zealand Post said through a spokeswoman an upgrade to the building would have been uneconomic for the property owner and inconvenient for other tenants in the building.

Asked if the company had considered the disruption to users in making its decision, she said once it was determined that the site did not meet seismic standards, New Zealand Post had been unable to find a suitable site nearby.

''The new location at the Dunedin Mail Centre is approximately 900m away, or a 7-10 minute flat walk.

''This site offers better parking facilities and a safe environment for both staff and customers.''

She said the PostShop met the company's seismic policy.

david.loughrey@odt.co.nz

The knock-down effect

A hundred and fifty years and who knows how many earthquakes and these buildings are still here yet those who know have us running from them like scared mice because of something which happened on totally different topogaphy 300 km away.

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